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Seattle Pride drops Amazon as a sponsor of city's LGBTQ parade

The e-commerce giant wanted the annual march to be renamed "Seattle Pride Parade Presented by Amazon," according to the nonprofit group's executive director.
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Seattle Pride has cut ties with Amazon over the e-commerce giant's corporate donations and its alleged request to have its name included in the title of the city's annual LGBTQ Pride march.

The nonprofit group, which has organized the Seattle Pride Parade since 1974, issued a statement Tuesday saying it is "deeply concerned" about the Seattle-based company's donations to "anti-LGBTQ politicians" and its fundraising efforts for anti-LGBTQ groups.

It also cited efforts by the company to call the parade — the city's first since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic — "Seattle Pride Parade Presented by Amazon" in exchange for $100,000, the group's executive director, Krystal Marx, told the NBC affiliate KING-TV in Seattle.

"Pride isn't for sale at any time of the year, but especially the month of June when our community comes together to celebrate," Marx said. “When someone has their name attached to the title of a full event that we haven’t had for two years, it makes me, as a queer individual, think this parade is going to be entirely about Amazon and celebrating their contribution."

People walk in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 25, 2017.
People walk in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 25, 2017.Genna Martin / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images file

The group cited a report using data from the government transparency nonprofit group OpenSecrets that found the company donated more than $450,000 last year to lawmakers who opposed the Equality Act. The federal legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last year but stalled in the Senate, would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in numerous areas, including employment, housing, education and public accommodations.

Amazon also reportedly donated more than $11,000 to lawmakers in Washington state since 2020 who have pursued anti-LGBTQ legislation in the 2022 legislative session, the group alleged, citing data from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

In addition to highlighting donations to lawmakers, Seattle Pride alleged that AmazonSmile — an Amazon company program that allows shoppers to select a nonprofit group to receive 0.5 percent of the proceeds from eligible purchases — has enabled more than 40 anti-LGBTQ groups to raise funds.

Amazon said in a statement Wednesday that it stands with the LGBTQ community and cited its previous efforts to have the Equality Act passed.

The e-commerce giant is one of the more than 500 companies that have signed on to a statement urging Congress to pass the Equality Act, organized by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

"Amazon engages with policymakers and regulators on a wide range of issues that affect our business, customers, and employees,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “That does not mean we agree with any individual or political organization 100 percent of the time on every issue, and this includes legislation that discriminates or encourages discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to an additional question about its alleged request for Seattle Pride to add the company’s name to its annual parade.

Amazon was not the only corporation to draw the ire of LGBTQ advocates this week.

On Tuesday, hundreds of employees at Walt Disney Co. staged a walkout over the corporation's previous donations to the sponsors of a Florida legislation that LGBTQ advocates have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

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